Director of Outreach and Engagement, Women’s Voices for the Earth
This piece is posted in full on the WVE blog. It’s excerpted here with permission of the author.
People often ask me, “Why a women’s environmental organization?”
I always take a breath before answering, because there are so many reasons, and because each one contributes to my passion to get toxic chemicals out of our world:
Women’s health problems linked to toxic chemicals are on the rise. Rising rates of breast cancer, early puberty, contaminated breast milk, infertility, birth defects – the list, unfortunately, goes on.
Women are greater users of consumer products that contain toxic chemicals, like personal care products, fragrance, and cleaning products.
Women of color are at greater risk. Many products marketed to women of color, such as skin lighteners, hair relaxers, and dyes, contain some of the most toxic chemicals on the market; flame retardant chemicals have increased by 40% in the breast milk of Inuit women in the Arctic; according to the CDC, African American women are 34% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.